The Mizuno JPX EZ Forged had a tough act to follow. I was a big fan of the previous JPX 825 Pro irons and were anxious to see how these new irons would fit around the JPX 825 models that Mizuno are going to continue offering.
Whilst they may look very different in colour, finish and the badge design, they are essentially targeted towards the aspiring or improving golfer who is perhaps not yet an MP-player but who prefers, or wants try, a forged feeling iron.
With the large oversized heads and deep cavity that runs right through the set, the JPX EZ Forged is ideal for mid-handicappers although I felt the set did not flow as easily as the previous JPX825 irons.
It is always a challenge balancing forgiveness with feel and it is a battle all manufacturers aim to win. Whilst the JPX EZ Forged irons offer plenty of speed and help at impact, they seemed to have a firmer feel than the JPX 825 Pro irons.
The short irons were pleasing on the eye, however they seemed to favour speed and forgiveness more than I expected from a forged iron. They lacked a little feel. Shot after shot, they produced a very similar, straight flight but offered little in the way of responsiveness or workability. Perhaps this is what mid-handicappers want, but I expected a softer touch from a forged Mizuno short iron.
The mid-irons were the best part of the set and more of what I was expecting. The slight off-set favours a right-to-left shape and should help players that tend to lose the ball to the right in the air. The speed and forgiveness right across the face is impressive and doesn't require a lot of effort or swing speed to produce a long, high ball flight.
Most forged irons tend to feel a little heavier than cast irons. The JPX EZ's however, felt light both in my hand and during the swing. On the down-swing and through impact, you could feel the club encouraging more speed without any additional effort. This may also be due to the new multi-thickness CORTECH face.
The long irons were nice, and forgiving, but seemed a little thin for their size. Where the short irons lacked the better-player feel and look, the longer irons perhaps had too much.
The performance was fine, but I feel that mid-to-high handicappers may need more help in the longer irons, both in looks and forgiveness to get the ball in the air.
The head length is the same as the standard JPX 825 iron (below left) and whilst the JPX EZ Forged is more blade-like than cavity-back I am not sure it works in this large size and the longer irons in particular didn't flow with the rest of the set. Players can, of course, blend the JPX EZ Forged irons with another Mizuno JPX set to find the balance, distance control and flow they desire.
Oversized heads is a concept I like, but in the forged version of the EZ irons I was expecting something between the JPX825 Pro and the standard JPX EZ iron and it was more towards the latter which was a big visual leap.
The JPX825 Pro also features a more cambered sole with a grind that helps to make the sole play a little thinner through the grass, whereas the wider soled JPX EZ Forged is going to provide more forgiveness and play a more like a game improvement iron.
You could blend in some MP-H4 hybrids instead at 3, 4 and maybe 5 and some JPX wedges and then it would probably then be a better set. Of course, this is an option available through Mizuno's excellent custom fitting process, but really that is not ideal.
The dark smoke finish and orange accents on the insert sets them apart from the classic Mizuno irons and that may appeal to some more than others. Being forged irons they trying to appeal to aspiring MP players and therefore I would have expected a chrome finish like the JPX825 range. Maybe the supersized forged market is a new sector and Mizuno want to make the JPX EZ stand out to show this, but for me the jury is out.
Ultimately the JPX EZ Forged irons get the job done as they do produce speed and a decent level of forgiveness. The performance is almost the same as the previous JPX models and looks are so different that you could probably choose either range and be happy with them depending on which you like the look of.